A new lock at Llantarnam, near Cwmbran, on the Mon and Brec Canal was officially opened and blessed on Friday 24th June. Toby went along on behalf of the Swansea Canal Society.

 

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The Ty Coch Locks comprise five locks,  and the fitting of the modular lock gates to Tredegar Lock and the testing of the paddle gear on Lower Blake Lock was completed in time for the official opening.  The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canals Trust welcomed members of Torfaen County Borough Council, the Canal and River Trust and other local organisations along with local and national press to see the first boat to pass through the Tredegar Lock since 1927.

The Bishop of Monmouth, the Rt Revd Richard Pain took to the water to bless the new set of lock gates.

The restoration of the lock in Cwmbran, was made possible by a partnership between Monmouthshire & Brecon Canals Trust, The Kennet & Avon Canal Trust and Torfaen County Borough Council. It was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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Bishop Richard was joined by the Archdeacon of Monmouth, the Venerable Ambrose Mason, as he travelled through the new lock.  He then blessed the lock before making the ascent back to the top basin.

Revd John Collier is the Chaplain to the canal and he was delighted that Bishop Richard could play such a prominent role in the recognition of the new lock gates: “It was lovely to have Bishop Richard with us to bless the new lock gates. As he said during his remarks the canal is a haven of peace and serenity in our busy world, and it is so good that as chaplain to the Monmouthshire & Brecon  Canals Trust  I can be a small part of regeneration of the Canal.  This regeneration will afford the opportunity for many more people to share in that peace and tranquility, and to enjoy God’s creation within our community.”

Toby was able to pass on the best wishes of the SCS to Richard Dommett who has been in  charge of the work on the newly opened lock. Richard worked on the Swansea Canal for many years and helped us reform the Swansea Bay Inland Waterways Parnership in 2015. The modular lock gates at Tredegar Lock should last for one hundred years as compared to  the traditional oak gates  which need replacing every twenty-five years.

The opening of this new lock brings the aim of taking the Brec and Mon canal back to Newport one step nearer. We hope that we can hold a similar ceremony when Clydach Lock on the Swansea Canal is finally restored.